Jenny Ann Garner was a 17-year-old student at Pierce City High School. She died on Jan. 28. She was the daughter of Bryce and Julie (George) Garner.
"I had noticed the old benches in front of the old school building had been removed during the construction of the new middle school wing," said Bryce Garner. "I didn't know of any replacement in the plans. I know from my own experience how those benches were used as a waiting spot for Jenny when I was to pick her up from school activities or trips to the dentist.
He contacted architect Richard Werner, of Werner and Associates, with his idea. Garner wanted to give the architects enough time to work on an appropriate design fitting with the new facilities and master plan before the phase of construction was complete. Architects envisioned a small garden area with a pink dogwood or ornamental maple. The area would include plain paver stones that can be removed and replaced with engraved pavers to commemorate future student losses in the district.
Werner also submitted drawings of a low retaining wall topped by capstone, like what is used for planters in front of doorways, for a partially enclosed area in which the focal point would be the tree.
"I really think the design is perfect for the site," said Garner. "Unfortunately, the cost for the architect's design was a lot more than the moneys raised. Therefore, we are creating a non-profit corporation, the Jenny Garner Student Memorial, to raise additional funds needed to finance the design."
The fundraiser will serve fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn and green beans, dinner roll, dessert and a drink. Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children under 10.
All proceeds will go to the Jenny Garner Student Memorial on the Pierce City School campus.